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Tory councillor quits and apologises for 'foolish' and 'thoughtless' tweets

'Thanks Ireland. You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks'

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Warwick District Councillor Nick Harrington suspended

Warwick District Councillor Nick Harrington suspended

Nick Harrington

The Irish border

The Irish border

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Warwick District Councillor Nick Harrington suspended

A Tory councillor who wrote a tweet during the Eurovision Song Contest in which he referred to Irish people as "gypsies" has resigned.

Nick Harrington, who sat on Warwick District Council, stood down from his position after being suspended for six months by the Conservative group.

He had already quit his role as a magistrate and has since deleted his Twitter account.

In a statement Mr Harrington apologised "unreservedly" for causing "considerable offence to both members of the traveller community and to those of Irish heritage".

He drew widespread criticism after sending the offensive tweet during Saturday's Eurovision, in which he said: "#Eurovision2017 thanks Ireland. You can keep your f***** gypsies! Hard border coming folks!"

The content appeared to refer to Ireland having given the UK no points in the jury voting round, and implied there will be hard border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.

Mr Harrington also acknowledged he had been wrong to make "ill-judged" comments about athlete Christine Ohuruogu on Facebook last year, in which he reportedly likened her to a black scarecrow.

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Conceding his tweets were "foolish" and "thoughtless" he said: "I am devastated that I have caused these events and apologise unreservedly to all constituents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington ward and to the wider public for the offence I have caused."

Andrew Mobbs, leader of Warwick District Council, said he believed Mr Harrington had also resigned from his role on Weston Under Wetherley parish council.

He said: "I believe his resignation to be entirely appropriate.

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Ireland's Brendan Murray performs the song "Dying to Try" during the second semi-final dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on May 10, 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland's Brendan Murray performs the song "Dying to Try" during the second semi-final dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on May 10, 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: Claudia Faniello representing Malta performs the song "Breathlessly" during the rehearsal for the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: Claudia Faniello representing Malta performs the song "Breathlessly" during the rehearsal for the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11:  Volodymur Ostapchuk and Oleksandr Skichko perform on stage during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: Volodymur Ostapchuk and Oleksandr Skichko perform on stage during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11:  Jacques Houdek representing Croatia performs the song 'My Friend' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: Jacques Houdek representing Croatia performs the song 'My Friend' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Jacques Houdek of Croatia performs with the song My Friend during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Jacques Houdek of Croatia performs with the song My Friend during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11:  JOWST representing Norway performs the song 'Grab The Moment' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: JOWST representing Norway performs the song 'Grab The Moment' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

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Naviband representing Belarus perform the song 'Story of My Life' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest (Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Naviband representing Belarus perform the song 'Story of My Life' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest (Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Naviband of Belarus performs with the song Story of My Life during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Naviband of Belarus performs with the song Story of My Life during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Serbia's Tijana Bogicevic performs the song "In Too Deep" during the second semi-final dress rehearsal of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on May 10, 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Serbia's Tijana Bogicevic performs the song "In Too Deep" during the second semi-final dress rehearsal of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on May 10, 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11:  IMRI representing Israel performs the song 'I Feel Alive' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: IMRI representing Israel performs the song 'I Feel Alive' during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Nathan Trent of Austria performs with the song "Running On Air" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Nathan Trent of Austria performs with the song "Running On Air" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Nathan Trent of Austria performs with the song "Running On Air" during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Nathan Trent of Austria performs with the song "Running On Air" during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Ilinca ft. Alex Florea of Romania perform with the song Yodel It during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Ilinca ft. Alex Florea of Romania perform with the song Yodel It during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Joci Papai of Hungary performs with the song "Origo" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Joci Papai of Hungary performs with the song "Origo" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Fusedmarc of Lithuania performs with the song Rain Of Revolution during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Fusedmarc of Lithuania performs with the song Rain Of Revolution during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Koit Toome and Laura perform with the song Verona during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Koit Toome and Laura perform with the song Verona during the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Brendan Murray of Ireland performs with the song "Dying to Try" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Brendan Murray of Ireland performs with the song "Dying to Try" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Brendan Murray of Ireland performs with the song "Dying to Try" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Brendan Murray of Ireland performs with the song "Dying to Try" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson of San Marino perform with the song "Spirit of the Night" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson of San Marino perform with the song "Spirit of the Night" during the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Timebelle of Switzerland performs with the song  Apollo  during the second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13.  / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Timebelle of Switzerland performs with the song Apollo during the second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 11, 2017. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11:  Koit Toome & Laura representing Estonia perform the song 'Verona'during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

KIEV, UKRAINE - MAY 11: Koit Toome & Laura representing Estonia perform the song 'Verona'during the second semi final of the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest at International Exhibition Centre (IEC) on May 11, 2017 in Kiev, Ukraine. The final of this years Eurovision Song Contest will be aired on May 13, 2017. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Getty Images

United Kingdom's Lucie Jones performs the song "Never Give Up on You" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 8, 2017. The first semi final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 9. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

United Kingdom's Lucie Jones performs the song "Never Give Up on You" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 8, 2017. The first semi final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 9. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

AP

Norway"s JOWST performs the song "Grab the Moment" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, May 6, 2017. The first semi final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 9. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Norway"s JOWST performs the song "Grab the Moment" during rehearsals for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, May 6, 2017. The first semi final of The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be held on May 9. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

AP

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Ireland's Brendan Murray performs the song "Dying to Try" during the second semi-final dress rehearsal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on May 10, 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev. The Eurovision Song Contest 2017 finals will be held May 13. / AFP PHOTO / Sergei SUPINSKYSERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

"He is, however, still under investigation by the police who will no doubt update us as soon as they have made their report.

"I am very disappointed that his comment was made in the first place and by the reaction it generated towards the district council on social media.

"Nick Harrington was not an employee of Warwick District Council and so I would like to add that his attitude and comments are in no way supported by the district council, or are in any way a reflection on the progressive and dedicated staff that work for the council."

Warwickshire Police said it is investigating reports of a tweet posted on Saturday evening.

A spokesman said: "Officers are aware of other tweets, posted on this account, which may have caused concern; these will be considered during the investigation."


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